“Unforgivable” French strike forces airlines to cancel 1,000 flights

“Unforgivable” French strike forces airlines to cancel 1,000 flights

    Domestic and some international flights were canceled in France on Friday due to national strike by air traffic controllers - AP Photo / Francois Mori

Domestic and some international flights were canceled in France on Friday due to national strike by air traffic controllers – AP Photo / Francois Mori

Thousands of British tourists are at risk of being stranded as around 1,000 flights are canceled due to the strike by French air traffic controllers.

Low-cost airline Ryanair is among the hardest hit, with 420 services being canceled on Friday, disrupting travel plans for 80,000 passengers. EasyJet cut 76 flights, British Airways canceled 22, while Air France said it will only operate 45% of its short-haul flights.

Ryanair bosses have criticized the French strike as “unforgivable” and urged officials in Brussels to finally take action against perennial trade union action.

With air traffic control operations in the heart of Europe, French unions are able to create the greatest disruption across the continent. British travelers are particularly struck by the fact that airlines struggle to navigate the country or through narrow channels in French airspace that remain open.

Officials said around 21,000 aircraft will operate in European airspace on Friday, a third of normal volumes.

The hiatus for British travelers – some of whom may be rushing to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II while in the state of London – follows months of unrest at airports as bosses grapple with chronic staff shortages.

French air traffic control strikes are forcing airlines to cancel Friday flights - AP Photo / Francois Mori

French air traffic control strikes are forcing airlines to cancel Friday flights – AP Photo / Francois Mori

Other strikes are planned by the French trade union Syndicat National des Contrôleurs du Trafic Aérien (SNCTA) from 28 to 30 September.

The union says rising inflation means its members are facing a real pay cut.

He added earlier this week: “Between 2029 and 2035, one third of the [air traffic control] the workforce retires. It is essential to anticipate and plan hiring.

Otherwise, the consequences will be inevitable in terms of public service, working conditions and flexibility ”.

Ryanair’s director of operations Neal McMahon said: “It is inexplicable that thousands of European citizens / visitors will have their travel plans unjustly interrupted … by yet another strike by the French ATC. Ryanair is calling for action once again. to prevent these ATC strikes from disrupting the travel plans of thousands of European citizens / visitors.

“It is unforgivable that passengers who do not even fly to / from France are disturbed because they fly over French airspace at a time when French laws protect French domestic flights. It is time for the EU to step in and protect overflights so that European passengers are not repeatedly held hostage by a small French ATC union. “

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